In a fresh twist to the legal saga involving the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has once again amended the charges against him. The latest amendment, presented before Justice Hamza Muazu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, accuses Emefiele of impersonating the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to unlawfully acquire $6.2 million.
According to the amended charge, Emefiele, along with a fugitive accomplice, Odoh Ocheme, allegedly obtained $6.2 million from the CBN on February 8, 2023, by falsely claiming it was requested by the SGF. The EFCC asserts that Emefiele knew this claim to be false, constituting an offense under the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
The amended charges also include allegations that Emefiele forged a document titled “RE: PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON FOREIGN ELECTION OBSERVER MISSIONS” in January 2023. This document, dated 26 January 2023 with Ref No. SGF.43/L.01/201, was purportedly created in collaboration with the absconded Ocheme. The EFCC contends that Emefiele committed an illegal act by forging this document.
Additionally, Emefiele faces accusations of conferring corrupt advantage on his wife, Omoile Margret, and brother-in-law, Omoile Macombo. The alleged wrongdoing involves awarding a contract for the renovation of a portion of the CBN Governor’s residence in Lagos amounting to N99.8 million. The EFCC claims this act violates Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
The amended charge sheet outlines a total of 20 counts against Emefiele. Justice Muazu adjourned the hearing until today (Friday) for Emefiele to enter his plea on the revised charges.
This development comes after the original charges, filed in August 2023, accused Emefiele of procurement fraud amounting to N6.5 billion. The EFCC subsequently amended the charges, reducing the counts to six and eliminating the names of co-accused Sa’adatu Yaro and her company, April 1616 Investment. The alleged procurement fraud was also reduced to N1.2 billion.
In a related development, Justice Muazu, on Thursday, modified the conditions of the N300 million bail granted to Emefiele in November 2023. The judge removed the restriction that required Emefiele to stay within Abuja, responding to a request from the defense counsel, Mathew Bukka (SAN). The EFCC did not oppose the request, emphasizing the need for Emefiele to provide a written undertaking that he would remain in the country throughout the trial.